Shannon Corcoran wasn’t ready to give up dancing. But the self-proclaimed math nerd also wanted to follow a rigorous academic path.
A collegiate dance team and a caring professor helped her meld her love of dancing and numbers.
I’ve been dancing since I was 3, and I wasn’t ready to give it up when I came to college. So I convinced my mom to let me fly down for Clemson Rally Cats tryouts. It was such an intense — and intimidating — three-day process with multiple rounds of performances and cuts. I was so excited when I saw my name in the list of girls who had made the team.
One of my favorite Clemson professors is Dr. Mark Cawood. He gave me the guidance I needed coming into Clemson, which helped set me up for success as a math major and an Honors College student. He’s still my adviser and has been such an inspiring and caring mentor.Calhoun Honors College » Opens New Window
My first couple weeks on campus were crazy. I arrived early for Rally Cats training, classes started, I decided to go through sorority recruitment, and then went to my first college football game ever — on the sidelines dancing as a Rally Cat. It was insane. After that game, I just lay on the floor of my McCabe Hall room and cried (happy tears!). I had found where I belonged.
Since I’m in a year-round sport, I couldn’t take off an entire semester to study abroad. But I saw a flyer for a Maymester class in New Zealand and Australia and knew that was perfect. It was a faculty-led program called Humans and the Environment. We gathered data while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. I planted trees on the beaches of New Zealand and volunteered at elementary schools. It was amazing.Study abroad » Opens New Window
Dr. Cawood introduced me to the actuarial career path, and this past summer, I interned in the Insurance and Actuarial Advisory Services practice at Ernst & Young in New York City. Coming from a small town in New Hampshire, I never dreamed this could be my life.
Our academic and extracurricular opportunities will allow you to find the perfect way to combine your interests — no matter how varied they might seem.